Thursday, November 01, 2007

Unemployment in Europe

These were a couple of the comments in a reddit thread today about European unemployment.

Hang around playing xbox and commenting on reddit about how much the US sucks - much like everyone else in Germany. Nyuck nyuck nyuck.

I know! It's the same in Sweden (i spend some time there)...
Socialised hispeed internet is a killer of motivation!

Which got me to thinking, this is bad? I'd like to point everyone to the fact that natural resources are becoming scarce. All useful jobs have to do with the extraction, transformation and distribution of these natural resources. Which are becoming scarce.

So useful jobs are scarce. Either people must scale back their motivation or they must become destructive. Germans and Swedes have decided on the former, Americans and English on the latter.

As petrol, lumber, land, grain, wool, rubber, steel, copper, and all other commodities become increasingly scarce, we can either be satisfied with less or we can fight more energetically for what's left.

And don't anyone dare say that everyone should become a programmer / engineer or artist / designer. Most people don't have the analytical functioning for the former, or the creativity for the latter.

Mind you, I'm not a doomer. In fact, I consider doomers to be anti-civilization scum. The current scarcity of natural resources is not a permanent fact of life. It's a product of China and to a lesser extent India rapidly modernizing.

When Nautilus Minerals' venture finally comes online, massive new sources of copper, gold and other minerals will increase their supply.

When 2nd generation high temperature superconductors become available, the demand for copper for generators will be vastly reduced.

And when the world starts building nuclear power plants and mass transit systems in earnest, then demand for petrol and coal will be reduced while supply of both electricity and transportation will increase.

Scarcity of natural resources and the poverty it is associated with,, are not inevitable. They're just unavoidable right now. We might as well make the best of our situation by kicking back and taking it easy.

1 comment:

Adam Spitz said...

Are you saying that most people could *never* learn analysis or creativity, or just that they couldn't learn those things quickly enough right now (before the current scarcity of jobs goes away)?

I think I've heard you say things before about how most people just aren't capable of ever learning those things, and (if I'm remembering correctly) I'm wondering how certain you are about that, and why. Is this something that's been studied extensively, or do we just have a few hints that seem like they might point in that direction, or what?

You pointed me to that study about learning computer science ( And I remember reading something about Bloom's Taxonomy of learning, but I don't remember seeing it say that some people can't reach the higher levels, just that they don't, or that one level has to be mastered before moving on to the next, or something like that.